Smedts bides his time before staking senior claim with Geelong

NORTH Warrnambool Eagles export Billie Smedts isn’t expecting to be gifted a senior game with Geelong despite recovering from a leg fracture.

Billie Smedts, aiming for Cats’ senior return.

Billie Smedts, aiming for Cats’ senior return.

Smedts, who suffered the injury in the pre-season, had set himself to nail down a spot at half-back this season.

But the injury, originally thought to be bone bruising, kept him sidelined for 11 weeks until he played with the Cats VFL side against Collingwood on Saturday.

“I came back better than I thought I would,” Smedts told AFL.com.au.

“It’s definitely good to have the game under the belt, but there’s still a lot of improving to go.” Smedts said he needed three to four weeks in the VFL before pushing for a senior call-up.

“I’m not just going to get handed a game. I’ve still got to prove that I deserve one,” Smedts said. “I’ve just got to work my backside off so I can jump in (coach Chris Scott) Scotty’s face so that he plays me.” Smedts gathered 14 possessions rotating between the wing and half-back in the Cats’ 40-point loss to Collingwood at Victoria Park.

The 21-year-old earlier this year declared he wanted to find a permanent spot in the Cats line-up after playing 27 games since being drafted in 2010. 

He missed the 2011 season because of hip surgery but has struggled since making his debut in 2012 to cement a regular spot despite some impressive performances across half-forward and half-back.

He believed half-back was his best position.

“Early on in the pre-season I went to Scotty and said, ‘if round one was tomorrow, what position do you think I’d play?’” Smedts said.

“He said half-back. So the whole pre-season I worked really closely with Andrew Mackie and Corey Enright, so when the season did come around I’d be in good shape.

“It is a new role and I am enjoying it down there.”

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